Saturday, September 29, 2012

Growing Up at UT

A big part of my job takes place after 5pm or on weekends. As such, my two jobs, Mommy and Asst. Director of Housing, often intersect.  Luckily, I work with people who are OK with me lugging my kids to random events all the time.  Looking back through this blog, I feel like at least half of the posts are pics of the kids at some UT Housing event.  Geez, Vi even went to overnight training camp with all the RAs when she was only 8 weeks old.  She may be the youngest person to ever paint the rock, and Jeremy was the first kid born into South Carrick Hall.

It may seem odd to others, but they love that the crazy campus is part of their lives.  It is normal for them to hang out behind a random front desk, go on elevator rides with RAs, attend alcohol education programs, dance at lip sync, and make bulletin boards.  Here are a few of our UT adventures, all of which happened in the same week.

3 of my halls (Laurel, Gibbs, and Massey) held a joint program called "Splash and Jam" and they had students come out for a cookout by the Laurel pool.  It was a lot of fun, and as it was on a Sunday, the kiddos attended as well.
Jess dancing with the kids.  They LOVE her.

Barely able to reach over the table, they still managed to down tons of hot dogs.

Vi drinking from a big girl cup!

Love Jess.

Sometimes Vi has to dress like Rapunzel and bring at least two dolls with her in order to leave the house without screaming.  Whatever.

That same week, I had to take the kids to RA Council.  I don't have photos since it really is a meeting where we attempt to conduct actual business between the screams of my kids.  Classy.  It is these events where I feel bad about having to bring the kids, but if my job requires me to work after 5pm, they have to realize that I am also a mom.  They were actually well behaved, I think.

That Saturday, my area of campus (I supervise 6 halls: Laurel, Volunteer, Massey, Gibbs, Clement, and Apartment Res Hall) worked to put on an area-wide tailgate before the Akron game.  I was so proud of the RAs who planned the event, and we ended up with a Grammy-nominated band, games, tons of food, a volleyball tournament, and lots of orange.
My kids LOVED corn hole.

Gathering his bean bags.

I held Amy's grandson (precious) and Miss Violet was NOT amused.

Amy snapped some great pics of my babies

helping herself to some ice

Jeremy playing football with Maddox (Amy's oldest grandson)

Vi making friends with the students and staff

corn hole

I waited for months for this dress to go on sale to buy it for her - so cute

how handsome is this kid?

Taylar (Massey RA) taught the kids the proper way to play corn hole


it is practically impossible to get a photo of them together

After the tailgate, we decided to actually go to the game (crazy).  Thanks to Joel and Josh for giving me tickets so that the four of us could get in for free!  It was our first attempt at taking either kid to a UT game.
Vi spent the whole time under the bleachers pulling stuff out of my bag

killing time in my office before the game

kids at the game

in case you were concerned, yes, Mr. Moo got to attend the game as well

they refuse to look at the camera.  punks.

crowd of orange

power T - they loved the band

I never really considered myself a UT fan, but I suppose after 13 years here, I can't deny it is part of my life
We had a big UT week, and I am happy the kids are able to experience so much of college life while they are young.  Some parts I hope they never experience, but others, like football games and cookouts and leadership I hope will always be part of their lives!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nana and Granddaddy!

Jeremy and Violet had a lovely visit from their Nashville grandparents this week!  A middle-of-the-week visit is a special and rare thing, and I know Jeremy was particularly thrilled. September is grandparents month, so his preschool class made invitations for their grandparents to come join them for lunch at school.  I was not expecting Jeremy to have visitors since we don't have in-town family (and I had even prepared a backup plan with family friends as stand-ins), when to my delight Nana and Granddaddy decided to make a trip to Knoxville!

Jeremy was SO excited to have them at his school. He ran around and introduced every single kid in the class to them individually. It was adorable. He then proceeded to show off his sprinting and falling down skills - which are stellar. We had lunch with his class, Jeremy was helper of the day, and saw them get ready for story and nap time as we left. It was fun to see him interact with his classmates and I really cannot adequately describe how overjoyed he was to have Nana and Granddaddy sitting in his classroom.
Jeremy ran to the fence to greet his grandparents!

Family photo on the playground
Our "fancy" lunch at a special table in the classroom (notice Violet stealing my food even though she already ate)

After school/work, we had more fun grandparent time as Violet was a total brat and ignored or yelled at them (she really is nice sometimes, I swear) and Jeremy entertained us all with train layouts, videos, and a rousing game of Apples to Apples
She looks so innocent - don't be deceived...
Playing trains with Nana
Reading her new duck book with Nana and Daddy (and smelly blankie)
Watching train videos with Granddaddy
I hope you are embarrassed by this later in life, Vi
It was so much fun to see them and get a nice at-home reminder of how lucky we are to have such wonderful grandparents in our lives!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I have had three different people ask me this week to update my blog.  I have also asked this of myself.  To no avail.  I am simply feeling rather lackluster at the moment.  I have not done anything exciting, my kids are being normal, I am immersed in work, and let's face it - that is boring.

But, here are a few photos I did manage to snap in the last two weeks.  Just to tide you over until I am feeling less bland.

We went on a picnic for dinner this past Sunday.   Brian and I just randomly decided to just pack a basket, grab a blanket and a ball, and head the whopping two blocks to the park and lake.  Fun times.  Look at Vi trying desperately to be like her big brother: eating his sandwich and chasing after him.
Violet says "baw" all the time.  This means "ball" and my little gal means business.  She loves to play ball and throws exceptionally well.  You have no idea how happy this makes me. * Squee.*
Jeremy has discovered the Ramones.  He loves them.  His personal favorite song, however, leaves me with just as many reservations as when he went through his Rocky Horror stage.  Any time of day or night you can see him start bobbing his head and singing (with tons of passion) "beat on the brat, beat on the brat, beat on the brat with a baseball bat, oh yeah, oh, oh".  Precious? Scary?  Who knows?
Jeremy was watching Journey to the Center of the Earth (shocking!) and was taken by the scene where the kid helps navigate in the car with a map.  So, we pulled out the only physical map we could find - of North Carolina for some reason - and the globe, and he had a blast learning all about maps.  It was a beautiful moment of random and exciting educational opportunities at home.
So much to say about hair in our house these days (geez, even I am bored with this).  Vi can finally get a real pony tail with her little wisps of blonde hair, and Jeremy finally got a haircut.  How precious are those blonde babies who bear no resemblance to me?
These are the adorable photos hanging up in Violet's classroom - she was used as an example of brilliance and is highlighted on the bulletin board (you can click it to read about her amazing achievements in block stacking).  The next one is her basic cubby photo - where she is totally rocking Jeremy's old clothes.  She is kind of awesome.
And this is the photo of Jeremy in his classroom.  Can't win 'em all.
Oh, and sometimes I like to send my kids to school looking like this. The other kids were wearing coats and colors that don't blind people.  They must have good parents.  
Hope you have a marvelous day!  :)